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Cowen poster is set on fire days after row

A FIANNA Fail election poster was set alight just hours after members of a TD's family canvassed for votes.

The burning of a poster bearing the names of Brian Cowen's brother and his two running mates is the second time in just days that the party has been attacked in the Taoiseach's heartland.

Laois-Offaly candidate Sean Fleming confirmed that the latest incident took place in Graiguecullen on the outskirts of his Laois-Offaly constituency.

Mr Fleming said members of his immediate family had canvassed the area, which is near Carlow town, before the incident on Wednesday night.

"It's the first I heard of it but it sounds like someone with an agenda set fire to the poster. I'm not making an issue of it," he said.

Mr Fleming said his family were given a "fine reception" in the area. "I spent several days there myself with my team and we're almost completed with canvassing the area.

"The reception is better than expected but it is still very tough. Last time out people were more concerned with local issues but this time around, the difference is people are far more concerned with their own household income situation," he added.

Earlier this week, the Herald reported how Cllr Barry Cowen -- the Taoiseach's brother -- had to run the gauntlet of angry protesters while canvassing in Offaly.